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Development of Inga 3 moving forward with new plan for power exports

A new power export plan could give new life to the Democratic Republic of Congo's 4,300-MW Inga 3 hydropower project, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The Inga 3 hydroelectric plant, which was stalled in February after mining company CHP Billiton abandoned its plan for an aluminum smelting complex that would have used much of Inga 3's output, might now provide power for South Africa, Botswana and Nambia.

Congo's government will host a meeting next month to discuss bids from China's Sinohydro Corporation and South Korea's Posco Engineering and Construction to builds the US$9 billion project.

Vika di Panzu, a member of the Inga 3 Steering Committee, says the plant might be financed by multilateral donors including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and power-purchase agreements from mining and smelting companies.

di Panzu says construction of the Inga 3 could begin as early as 2016, assuming the project can secure financing.

HydroWorld.com reported in July that the Congo government was seeking engineers and an economist to evaluate the feasibility of the project.

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